Ringo Starr 3

Highly Appreciated

RINGO STARR – Pre-Beatles Career (Story of the Month from September 2014)
Ringo Starr is without a doubt the most under-appreciated member of the Beatlesso it is not surprising that, when us four Winfree kids divvied up the Fab Four among ourselves, I wound up with Ringo as my favorite Beatle
Ringo Starr (real name:  Richard Starkey, Jr.) was the final addition to the classic line-up when he was brought in as the band’s drummer, replacing Pete Best.  He is the oldest of the Beatles (all of 23 when they hit the big time), having been born three months before John Lennon. 
As a young teenager, he contracted tuberculosis in 1953 and was in a sanatorium for two years.  To encourage physical activity, a makeshift drum set was set up next to his bed, and he later joined the band at the hospital.  Ringo Starr recalls:  “I was in the hospital band. . . .  That’s where I really started playing.  I never wanted anything else from there on. . . .  My grandparents gave me a mandolin and a banjo, but I didn’t want them.  My grandfather gave me a harmonica . . . we had a piano – nothing.  Only the drums.” 
While working as a machinist in a local factory, Richard Starkey befriended Roy Trafford, who introduced him to skiffle music.  The two began practicing together and were joined by another co-worker Eddie Milesforming the Eddie Miles Band that was later renamed Eddie Clayton and the Clayton Squares.  (Interestingly, Eric Clapton took the pseudonym Eddie Clayton in his credits for the George Harrison album Wonderwall Musicperhaps from this connection). 
As skiffle became displaced by American rock and roll, and billed as Ritchie Starkeyhe joined a band called Texans in November 1959 that was led by Al Caldwell.  They were a well known skiffle band that was trying to reinvent themselves as a rock band.  The band went through several names – the Raging Texans, then Jet Storm and the Raging Texans – before settling on Rory Storm and the Hurricanes Richard Starkey developed the Ringo Starr persona at that time, due to his propensity for wearing numerous rings.  They became one of the top bands in Liverpool in 1960 and eventually made their way to Hamburg, where they crossed paths with the Beatles; initially, however, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes were billed above the Fab Four and were also paid more. 
(March 2017)
Last edited: March 22, 2021